Replicating the real world…

It is a fact, that the virtual world is a replica of the real world. Atleast it tries to be one! I’ll prove my point with a simple example. Searching, is one of the primary tasks in Information Management. Let’s assume your friend is in a train compartment and you have to find him out. What are the ways possible?

The first and obvious way is enter the compartment and scan through all the passengers- this is linear searching. The second option is to ensure that the passengers are seated in a particular order (may be height wise, or alphabetically) and you directly access the passenger in the middle. Depending on his attributes, you decide to go left or right- this is binary searching. The third way is to read through the passengers list outside the compartment- this is hashing!

But how many of us actually implement these methods in real life? Don’t we call out our friend’s name aloud till he responds back? Don’t we intuitively recognize our friend from behind or just by hearing his voice? Which means that the virtual world is at a nascent stage! The technologies we use have a long way to go. Theorists and Operating System developers must visit Sultanpet once to see how traffic jams are resolved there, before loosing out to deadlocks.

This gap between the real and the virtual will however be soon filled. The question one must ask next is not what is possible, but what is immoral. For example, soon enough technology will enable humans to add an extra hand or an extra limb. While this would be a giant leap forward for the physically challenged, think how it might divide our society if it is made available for everyone. Will  a rich man, who can afford a few extra hands or limbs, not have an undue advantage over the poor who will have to settle with just the two hands nature has provided him?

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One response to “Replicating the real world…

  1. Pingback: A programmer’s null and a philosopher’s nihilism | Sourav Roy

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